Ten arrested over murder of Maltese investigative journalist

  04 December 2017    Read: 491
Ten arrested over murder of Maltese investigative journalist

Maltese police have arrested ten suspects in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, prime minister Joseph Muscat has announced, almost two months after her car was blown up in an apparent targeted assassination, AzVision.az reports citing the Independent.

All of those arrested are Maltese nationals and most have a criminal record, the PM said at a press conference on Monday morning. The police have 48 hours to question the suspects, arraign them or release them.

Eight of the arrests were initially announced by the PM at the press conference, with a further two coming shortly afterwards.

“As I stated as soon as I learnt about this barbaric act, we will leave no stone unturned to get this case solved. I am committed to do so more than ever”, the Prime Minister said.

The spate of arrests comes just days after a European Parliament delegation from Brussels visited the island EU member state and warned that rule of law was failing there, with authorities showing a “high degree of unwillingness to investigate”.

Caruana Galizia, 53, was murdered on 16 October. Her popular blog relentlessly highlighted cases of alleged high-level corruption targeting politicians from across party lines, including around the Panama Papers tax scandal.

Her killing has sparked protests on the island, with thousands marching against what some called the “Mafia state”.

Her family made it known that they did not want the country’s prime minister or president – targets of her journalism – to attend her funeral.

Last week, a cross-party delegation of MEPs travelled to Malta to assess whether the country’s law enforcement system had been “compromised”. The European Parliament had previously backed a motion expressing concern about the country’s legal and justice system.

Green MEP Sven Giegold said the group had come away from the meetings ”even more concerned over the rule of law now that before the visit and we must follow up on what we found”.

But the delegation was criticised by the Maltese prime minister, who said it chose to meet with a disproportionate number of government critics and that its conclusions were “misguided”.

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